Peyton Manning understands why he keeps getting linked to buying the Denver Broncos.
Not only does he live in Denver now and frequently attend games, but the Hall of Famer led the team to a Super Bowl win before he retired. He was even inducted into the team’s Ring of Fame on Sunday before Denver's 17-10 win over the Washington Football Team.
Manning, though, isn’t involved with any ownership group trying to buy the team from Pat Bowlen’s children — who took over the franchise after he died in 2019 and have been feuding over the direction of the organization ever since.
He’s also, at least for now, not interested.
"I haven't had any serious conversations with anyone," Manning said Sunday, via ESPN. "Certainly, there's some people who have called me and said 'Hey, what do you think is going to happen with the Broncos? Are you going to try to own the team?’
“I keep looking for that $3 billion in my pocket. I can't find it. I think it's in a hidden account somewhere. That's not really on my radar. People are obviously interested, they're curious. I care because I live here and I go to the games, and I want to know what's going to happen like everyone else. But I have no relationship or agreement with anybody."
Manning: ‘I actually like what I’m doing now’
Manning retired after the 2015 season just after leading the Broncos to a win at Super Bowl 50 — which capped a tremendous four seasons in Denver where he won four AFC West titles and reached the Super Bowl twice.
He racked up 71,940 passing yards and 539 touchdowns in his 17 seasons in the league, both of which are the third most by any quarterback in NFL history. Manning was inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Pat Bowlen stepped away from the Broncos in 2014 after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Bowlen Trust took over in his absence, led by team president and CEO Joe Ellis and others. There have since been several lawsuits filed by his children in a battle to take over the team, and Ellis said in July that his goal is to have a “transition of ownership” plan in place after this season. “All signs,” according to The Denver Post, “point to that transition meaning the team is put up for sale.”
According to Forbes.com, the Broncos are the 10th-most valuable team in the NFL at an estimated $3.75 billion. The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable at about $6.5 billion.
Though Manning’s name seems to always come up in discussions about purchasing the Broncos, and he hasn’t ruled anything out in the future, he said he’s happy with what he’s been doing since retiring — whether that’s spending time with his kids, working on his ESPN series “Peyton’s Places” or the “Manning Cast” broadcast on “Monday Night Football.”
"Even if I'm offered an opportunity, I haven't decided if I would even do it," Manning said, via ESPN. "I actually like what I'm doing now. I get to stay close to the game ... I get to coach [ my son] Marshall's flag football team, I went to a doubleheader softball game to see [my daughter] Mosley play.
“I'm just taking everything on a one-year-at-a-time basis, next year who knows how I'll feel. ...But I'll always be a part of the Broncos, I'll say that."